I started college just outside of Baltimore in 2013 and before then I could count my trips to the city on one hand. Coming here I wanted to feel like part of the city, but I didn’t know how to find my footing. A professor in my Media and Communication Studies program would talk about this great non-profit called Wide Angle Youth Media and as I learned more I knew I had to get involved, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I put off getting involved until Wide Angle hosted a workshop at a conference I was attending. Long story short, I attended their workshop and learned more about their impact and what they do, so I applied for an internship and here I am writing this blog post!
Starting, I knew I wanted to learn things like how Wide Angle interacts with social media and works with sponsors for their programs. After my internship began I learned about other ways I could get involved, like helping with the Youth Photography Traveling Exhibit (YPTE) that travels to Farmers’ Markets around the city.
On my first day I helped go through and package 100 copies of the book “This Is Baltimore,” that were created with portraits from YPTE. What struck me was the motivation behind the YPTE that resulted in the book. During and after the Baltimore uprising, students and staff felt the need to portray Baltimore youth positively, contrary to the image that was constructed by the media. As someone not originally from the city, this is not an issue that often dawns on me. So I decided to begin volunteering with pop-up exhibits at Farmers’ Markets displaying the portraits around the city. Displaying the photos in public spaces in addition to galleries is really important because not everyone has the access or time to go to an art gallery. These exhibits allow exposure for the incredible talent the youth participants have and give us the opportunity to spread the word about how other students can get involved.
We’ll be at three upcoming Farmers’ Markets:
- The Baltimore Museum of Industry Market on Saturday July 30th from 9AM-1PM
- The Downtown Market on Sunday July 31 from 7AM to Noon
- The Waverly Market on Saturday September 17 from 7AM to Noon
I encourage everyone to brave the heat and come see me at the Downtown Market this Sunday!
I am about to start my fourth (and hopefully last) year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am working toward a double major in Media and Communication Studies and International Relations with a certificate in French. After my internship I intend to stay involved with Wide Angle because I really believe in their mission and everyone here, from participants to staff, are truly amazing and have taught me so much in just two months.